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Geology and the Environment, Fall 2014

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College of Science/Department of Geology
GEOL/ENVS 111, Geology and the Environment
Section 80, Fall 2014
Instructor: Dr. June A. Oberdorfer
Office Location: Duncan Hall 307
Telephone: 408- 924-5026
Email: Use course website e-mail. Only if you cant access the website,
then use june.oberdorfer@ I check e-mail multiple
times per day (when near a computer) so that is the best way to
contact me.
Office Hours: Mon: 1315-1500
Class Days/Time: Online, no in-person meeting
Prerequisites: Students must have Upper Division standing (completed 60
units), have completed their Core General Education
requirements, and have received a satisfactory score on the
writing skills test (WST) in order to register for the class. 100W
is a prerequisite or co-requisite. Courses taken to meet Areas R,
S, and V of SJSU Studies must be taken from three different
departments or other distinct academic units.
GE/SJSU Studies Category: Area R, Earth and the Environment
Course Description
The effect of Earth processes on humans and their structures. Environmental problems
related to earthquakes, landslides, minerals, energy, water and urban growth. [SJSU
This course is designed to introduce the students to aspects of their physical environment
which can affect their lives and upon which they can have an effect. These include:
geologic hazards such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions,
uses and misuses of energy and water resources, and
geologic processes that shape our world.
A well-informed citizen should be able to make wiser decisions on environmental issues.
GE/SJSU Studies Learning Outcomes
Satisfactory completion of this course satisfies the Universitys Advanced General
Education Requirement in Area R, Earth and the Environment. The requirement for a
minimum of 3,000 words of writing is met through the nine Worksheet assignments for the

GEOL/ENVS 111. Geology and the Environment, Fall 2014
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Exercises and the Group Field Trip Guide. The learning objectives for this GE area include.

1) Demonstrate an understanding of the methods and limits of scientific
investigation. This objective is addressed in the Exercises and accompanying
Worksheets (ex., examining evidence for plate tectonics, uncertainties in
earthquake predictions)
2) Distinguish science from pseudo-science. This objective is full-filled through the
Exercises and accompanying Worksheets (ex., claims about hydrogen as energy
source are examine, arguments supporting or contradicting the Global Warming
hypothesis are evaluated).
3) Apply a scientific approach to answer questions about the earth and
environment. This objective is met through multiple activities in the Worksheets
where you will collect information and draw conclusions about issues of concern
in the physical environment.
Required Texts/Readings
Montgomery, Carla W., Environmental Geology, 10
Edition, 2014, McGraw Hill. There
are three options for obtaining the textbook.
1) The textbook is available from the Spartan Bookstore. This is a custom book
including only the chapters we will be reading in this course. Having a custom book
cuts the cost about in half. The books ISBN number is 9781308137414.
2) The original, full-text version of the textbook is available through online booksellers.
Older editions of the book will not have the same information for many of the
reading assignments and so are not recommended. The books ISBN number is
3) A digital version is also available from the publisher at a cost somewhat below the
custom textbook. The electronic version of the custom textbook (not the full text) is
available at The e-books ISBN number is
9781308137421. While the electronic version will save you some money, I strongly
recommend against purchasing that version since you will be spending a lot of time
in front of a computer this semester.
Dropping and Adding
Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops,
academic renewal, etc. Information on add/drops are available at
dbgen/narr/soc-fall/rec-298.html. Information about late drop is available at . Students should be aware of the current
deadlines and penalties for adding and dropping classes.

GEOL/ENVS 111. Geology and the Environment, Fall 2014
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Assignments and Grading Policy
Online Readiness Exercise 20 points
Nine chapter exams (40 points each) 360 points
One cumulative Final Exam 60 points
Nine Worksheets (40 points each) 360 points
Group Field Trip Assignment (Site Selection, Work Plan, Guide) 200 points
Total 1,000 points
Final letter grades will be assigned according to the following percentages, although the
grading may be curved downward in unusual circumstances.
98-100%: A+ 93-97%: A 90-92%: A-
87-89%: B+ 83-86%: B 80-82%: B-
77-79%: C+ 73-76%: C 70-72%: C-
67-69%: D+ 63-66%: D 60-62%: D-
<60%: F
No make-up exams will be given without prior consent of the instructor or a written
medical excuse signed by a doctor. Make-up exams/quizzes must be taken in person during
my office hours. Late assignments will be assessed a penalty: assignments lose 1% for
each hour or fraction of an hour they are submitted late. The only exceptions will be by prior
consent of the instructor or with a written medical excuse signed by a doctor. To be fair to
all students, these policies will be applied consistently.
University Policies
Academic integrity
Students should know that the Universitys Academic Integrity Policy is available at
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State
University and the Universitys integrity policy, require you to be honest in all your
academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of
Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The website for Student Conduct and Ethical
Development is available at
Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism
(presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another persons ideas without
giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this
class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise
specified. If you would like to include in your assignment any material you have submitted,
or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSUs Academic Policy F06-1 requires
approval of instructors.
Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to
make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an
appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential

GEOL/ENVS 111. Geology and the Environment, Fall 2014
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Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must
register with the AEC (Accessible Education Center) to establish a record of their disability.
Time Commitment Expectation
Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of
credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per
unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying
or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica.
Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the
Student Technology Resources
Computer labs for student use are available in the Academic Success Center located on the
floor of Clark Hall and on the 2
floor of the Student Union. Additional computer labs
may be available in your department/college. Computers are also available in the Martin
Luther King Library.
Learning Assistance Resource Center
The Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) is located in Room 600 in the Student
Services Center. It is designed to assist students in the development of their full academic
potential and to motivate them to become self-directed learners. The center provides support
services, such as skills assessment, individual or group tutorials, subject advising, learning
assistance, summer academic preparation and basic skills development. The LARC website
is located at http:/
SJSU Writing Center
The SJSU Writing Center is located in Room 126 in Clark Hall. It is staffed by professional
instructors and upper-division or graduate-level writing specialists from each of the seven
SJSU colleges. Our writing specialists have met a rigorous GPA requirement, and they are
well trained to assist all students at all levels within all disciplines to become better writers.
The Writing Center website is located at
Peer Mentor Center
The Peer Mentor Center is located on the 1
floor of Clark Hall in the Academic Success
Center. The Peer Mentor Center is staffed with Peer Mentors who excel in helping students
manage university life, tackling problems that range from academic challenges to
interpersonal struggles. On the road to graduation, Peer Mentors are navigators, offering
roadside assistance to peers who feel a bit lost or simply need help mapping out the
locations of campus resources. Peer Mentor services are free and available on a drop in
basis, no reservation required. Website of Peer Mentor Center is located at

GEOL/ENVS 111, Fall 2014, Course Schedule
The due time is before noon on the date for Assignments (Online Readiness Exercise,
Worksheets, and Group Field Trip Guide assignments). Exams are available Wednesday noon
to Thursday noon (i.e., exams must be started early enough to be finished, before Thursday
noon). The exception is the Final Exam (available Dec. 12, all day). Worksheets are based on
the Exercises in the Modules section. Exams are based on the Study Guides in the Modules
section. Print out this page and keep it somewhere you can refer to it easily.
Dynamic Earth
August 25 Begin Online Readiness Exercise
27 Plate Tectonics, Read: pages 2-11* and Ch. 3 (in Environmental Geology)
September 3 Online Readiness Exercise due (before noon)
10-11 Exam on Plate Tectonics available (based on Study Guide in Plate Tectonics
section in the Modules page) see Quizzes tool in Canvas
12 Earthquakes, Read: Ch. 4
17-18 Exam on Earthquakes available
19 Volcanoes, Read: Ch. 5
24 Group Site Selection due, individually, to Assignments before noon
24-25 Exam on Volcanoes available
October 1 Worksheets due for first three Exercises to the Assignments tool in Canvas
before noon
Energy Resources
2 Fossil Fuels, Read: Ch. 14 and Ch. 10
8-9 Exam on Fossil Fuels available
8 Group Work Plan for Field Trip due, individually, to Assignments before
10 Nuclear Energy, Read: 336-344 and 383-394
15-16 Exam on Nuclear Energy available
17 Alternative Energy, Read: 344-363
22-23 Exam on Alternative Energy available
29 Worksheet for three middle Exercises due before noon to Assignments
Water Resources
30 Streams and Flooding, Read: Ch. 6 and pages 397-417
November 5-6 Exam on Streams and Flooding available
7 Groundwater, Read: Ch. 11 and pages 417-424
12-13 Exam on Groundwater available
14 Waste Disposal, Read: pages 364-383
19 Group Field Trip Site Guide due, individually, to Assignments before noon
27-28 Thanksgiving Holiday
December 3-4 Exam on Waste Disposal available
10 Worksheets on last three Exercises due before noon to Assignments
12 Final Exam available (available all day)

*(page numbers at bottom of page in textbook, the original page numbering)